I Love Shellac

Shellaced Case Interiors

I love shellac. What other finish can you put on four coats of in a single afternoon. Now that the insides are coated, I can scrape and sand the exteriors of the cases to prepare them for their treatment (which unfortunately will be much more involved than simply coating with shellac).


4 thoughts on “I Love Shellac

  1. Don’t tell me you are finally finishing the entertainment center! Good, because I have been waiting not very patiently for the Dressing Table project. I built three of your Porringer Tea Tables and I’m ready to go to the next step in my woodworking education. Please don’t let your responsibilities as a husband, father of small children and full time employee get in my way! 🙂

    BTW, I keep referring to your thoughts on flattening chisel backs even though I get the same reaction, which isn’t real positive. Make sense to me but that dog don’t hunt. Suggest you don’t need to flatten a back and you’ll find yourself flat on yours.

    • Yeah, the e-center is nearing completion. I still need to build the interior shelves, raised panel doors and the glazed doors, but that shouldn’t be too involved or too exciting (have to get more lumber first). I’ll do a podcast or two on the doors ,hopefully before the end of the year, but the way my weekends have been and usually are around the holidays, I’m not promising anything. I still need to build the upper cases and cornice for the unit as well, but that’s a project for next year. It will be perfectly functional without the additional bookshelves. They are an easy add-on, and I need to get this thing out of my shop because I can’t move in there, and as long as it is in there, I can’t really start working on anything else.

      As for the dressing table, I’m hoping to start filming it the week before Christmas. The legs are mortised and the cabriole form is cut out and shaped. It’s no different than what was done for the porringer table up to that point, with the exception of the foot block. So I’ll start that whole series with a brief intro and jump right into carving the foot and the knee (at least two episodes there, probably more). I know I’ve been promising to start this one for awhile, but time just hasn’t been my friend. It’s coming though, really :).

      As for the chisel backs, we just need to keep fighting the good fight. It’s one of those mistruths that has been perpetuated for so long, it will take some time and other folks experimenting before the myth is busted. I know it works from experience with my own tools. But before the concept is more widely accepted, it will take more people to try it and report on their experiences. Until then, we’ll continue to take the flak.

  2. I’m with you on shellac. It’s great stuff. I finished a bookcase with shellac last year and it turned out great. Of course that was after I made and repaired every possible mistake. Shellac made it relatively easy for me to hide all my errors.

    Do you have a book or video you recommend with tips for using shellac?

    • Bob Flexner’s book and articles are a good place to start. Stephen Shepherd’s book on traditional finishes and finishing is another great resource, especially if you are interested in the traditional aspect of finishing.

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